By Ian Meyer
Before the Internet started grasping at every aspect of the world, putting everything online, lead generation was synonymous with networking, and traditional marketing methods helped businesses survive and grow.
With the developing times, an organization has to choose whether it wants to remain stuck in the past or utilize the best marketing tactics to survive this competitive business-oriented world. The best doesn't necessarily mean online. While it's true that the online lead generation methods can help you attract a huge customer base, neglecting the local audience is a mistake.
It's essential to combine the best of both online and offline methods to create an influential global presence. As such, we have curated a list of the best of both lead generation methods and will briefly talk about how each one contributes to leads.
Generating Leads Through Online Methods
1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
What are Google Ads? How do they work?
Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, is the quickest method of generating leads, faster than SEO. With Google Ads, a company gets increased brand awareness, detailed ad tracking, and also gets an edge over the competitors. Let's see an example to understand what it is and how it works.
Example: Consider an online brochure company, Empire Brochures.
Target Audience/Prospective customers: Start-up organisation in need of high-quality brochures.
Thoughts about procuring these Brochures: While some brochure companies will want to get it done internally by studying brochure design templates, others would hire the best brochure design company in the industry.
Where are they going to find the solution?
Google Search Engine.
Everyone, even the best minds in the industry, relies on Google for their answers.
Now a graphic designer working in the organization that wants to handle the brochure internally will look for 'brochure design templates" for ideas.
The latter will limit their Google search to "best brochure design company" or "top brochure design company" or just "brochure design company".
We have purposefully picked keywords that haven't been used by competitors of Empire Brochures. It presents Empire with a unique opportunity to be the only one on Google Ads. Before Google Ads, whenever a user searched a keyword on Google, it displayed a list of results, most of which were organic.
Nowadays, the top results are more often than not paid ads. In the case of a brochure company, whenever a person looks up the above-underlined keywords, Google will place the Empire Brochure's website at the top of the search bar.
List of Google Ads Lead Generation Strategies
Dynamic Text Insertion: Can assist in targeting the right customers.
Single Keyword Ad Groups: For getting more out of each keyword.
Google Ad Extensions: For gaining better visibility.
Geo-Targeting Ads: For capturing more local leads.
A well-planned Lead Generation Campaign: For a global reach.
Facebook has overtaken most of the traditional means of communication and entertainment. Instead of reading a newspaper early in the morning, a person would preferably check their FB notifications. With the vast amount of video content shared on FB daily, it engages users from all age groups.
What can FB Ads do that Google Ads cannot?
With Google Ads, you actively find new leads by implementing various strategies. With Facebook Ads, things work just the opposite. It is the customers that find you.
Google Ads might highlight a website at the top, but it is a flat representation. Look at the following Google Ad for the keyword Social Media Services.
FB Ads' creativity and expertise make it hard to distinguish between the ads and regular content. These enhanced ads (Quotes, Memes, Video Content, etc.) usually end with a strong call to action/message which moves people and spreads brand awareness. Ironically enough, here's a FB Ad for Google Ad.
Both Google Ads and FB Ads offer organizations competitive pricing, providing a price range suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes
2. Practicing Local SEO
Local SEO refers to targeting the audience in your geographical area by optimizing the website to rank it locally. For ranking a local website on the top of search engines, digital marketing providers use top-rated strategies including keyword research, on-page SEO, and link building.
Fact: People have become highly dependent on search engines for solutions. They look up every detail online, including the details of the neighborhood Grocery store.
For example, Amy stays in the 'Hudson Street, New York" neighborhood and has run out of groceries. She wants to order groceries from a local store but doesn't know the contact details.
In this situation, Amy will search for grocery shops near Hudson St. With the help of the result displayed below, one can understand the power of search engine local shops listing.
As of now, Myers of Keswick hasn't claimed it's business listing. Hitting the 'Own this Business' makes a huge difference, but it's just the beginning.
Generating Leads Through Offline Methods
1. Networking and Client Referrals
While we all appreciate the online lead generation tools, they cannot successfully replace the traditional lead generation tactics. Networking and Client Referrals have been around for ages. They have successfully launched small businesses and helped them establish a foothold in a competitive market.
Face-to-Face Networking involves joining groups or attending events that boost brand visibility. The 'word-of-the-mouth referrals' plays a huge role in the local networking sector, thereby instilling trust and creating bonds between the members of a local group.
We have shortlisted some groups, organizations, and events. This list includes some organizations that provide training to budding local business and startup owners.
Organizations/Events For Face-to-Face Networking:
Industry Trade Shows
Business Networking International
Local Chamber of Commerce
Local LeTip International Meetings
Local Merchant Associations
Women In Business Networking
Young Presidents Organization
2. Direct Mail
A lot of emerging businesses fail to understand the power of direct mails. Proper implementation of Email Marketing can make it an effective online marketing tool. But it is often an overused marketing strategy, with almost all businesses flooding the customer's inbox with unwanted and unnecessary junk mail.
Due to constant emails, Direct Mails have regained their appeal. Today, the businesses that send direct mails make more impact. Sending a care package, creative postcards, limited promo codes, coupons, and discount offers through direct mail can create a strong bond.
It can nurture existing customers. Also, it can appeal to prospective customers building a long-standing relationship. Direct Mails might be a traditional means, but no one has said that one has to eschew technology to make use of it. Even something as one dimensional as mail can look appealing and engaging with the help of the right publication.
3. Print Ads
Newspapers and Magazines are no more obsolete than a local shop. Even in this digital age, people still appreciate things they can hold in their hands. When the world goes offline; newspapers, magazines, and books always remain LIVE. And no matter how secure the internet appears to be, people don't trust it completely.
Tips for Finding the Right Printing Publications
Design the ads according to the target audience's preferences, make them engaging and attractive to the masses.
How frequently do you want to print Ads? Will printing ads be a one time deal or a repeated occurrence?
How many Ads do you want to print? The quantity of ads follows the same factor. A well-thought-out strategy that considers the frequency and number of ads should be in place before contacting the publication.
Also, consider the prices. Some publications might seem like the right choice, but putting everything to procure their services doesn't speak of a good business sense.
4. Hosting Events (Free Training etc)
As we have already seen, Events are one of the prime places for networking. These events usually attract people with similar business acumen, providing them with an opportunity to generate offline leads.
Events also stamp the badge of 'Authenticity' on a business door. An emerging organization can turn itself into a brand with frequent well-planned events.
What should Events offer its attendees?
What is the purpose of an event? Organizations hold events to nurture loyal customers and for attracting new leads. Such events can familiarize customers with the organization and its services. Here's what an ideal business offers its attendees to establish their business standing.
An event that provides an appealing demonstration of products and services.
Procurement of a sought-after expert speaker, to gather a huge crowd.
An event that provides free training or samples of services to entice the target customers.
An event planner should keep in mind the audience, which, once prompted, will purchase your services.
5. Sponsoring Events
Sponsoring Events is by far the most effective means of lead generation for local businesses.
Example: A bakery; Mary launched a high-end bakery three months ago. What would be an ideal sponsoring event for Mary?
This event will open a world of possibilities for Mary.
She can be present during the cake baking competition in various ways. She could be there to support her friends or act as a judge in the baking event.
Mary can wear her bakery's merchandise during the event.
She can distribute free promotional merchandise to the competitors and the audience.
She can also let the baking competitors use her bakery for the event. Or she could allow the competitors to use her personalized baking tools.
The key here is to find a relevant event to sponsor. Even a gathering that involves a large number of people who match your target audience could garner many leads.
Want to join the eCommerce trend? Create your online store and start selling today.
Article By: Ian Meyer - Entrepreneur and Creator of Business Builders Club
Ian has been infected entrepreneurial spirit since he was a child, from small time hustles like mowing the neighbors lawn to selling drugs as a teen. In his 30's he went on to run what would become the #1 Tour in Boston, MA. As a way to pivot during COVID19, he is working on multiple projects trying to make a path to the next chapter of his life.